As thousands of residents continue their return to the South Slave, the GNWT has begun shifting its efforts from response to recovery.
According to Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs Shane Thompson, the Territorial Wildfire Suppression Budget is now four-times larger than it was at the beginning of the fire season.
“Unfortunately, there is no sugarcoating it, this record setting fire season will cost us, both in terms of impacts on our residents and our bottom line,” Thompson said in a conference.
Currently, the wildfire suppression budget stands at $95.6 million, and Thompson says spending could continue as fires rage on.
“We’re hoping we don’t spend it all, but we’re still fighting fires,” Thompson tells MyTrueNorthNow.
“We’re still dealing with fires around communities like Hay River, Enterprise, Kakisa, the reserve, so we’re still seeing fires, and we’re still actioning them right now.”
“Unfortunately, we don’t know where the bottom line is,” the Minister adds.
Additionally, officials say recovery includes paying back the communities in the south such as Alberta, as over 20,000 residents were put up in evacuation centres across Southern Canada.
“We will have to repay the jurisdictions who have supported our evacuees for the past weeks,” Thompson says.
Despite re-entry, officials have confirmed that residents of Enterprise and the Hay River Corridor remain in the south as active wildfires and damages continue to threaten the community.